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carlday1, Engineer
Category: Electronics
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Experience:  Self Employed Electronic Engineer
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Is a Cambridge CXA60 integrated amplifier sufficient to

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Is a Cambridge CXA60 integrated amplifier sufficient to power the dynaudio emit m20?
If not can you suggest an alternative? Preferably for no more than £1,000.


Thank you for using Just Answer my name is ***** ***** I help with your question.

I feel the Cambridge CXA80 would be a good match it may be very slightly under powered for the speakers. The speaker are >150w RMS and the amp is 120W RMS.

Here is a link to info about matching amps with speakers.

If the amp had a limiter built in you would need a bigger amp the above link explains all about it. I cannot confirm that the amp has a limiter so you would drive the speakers near there continuous power rating which is 150W RMS.

I hope this helps


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi CarlThanks for the advice and the link.
I've read a few articles about matching and, for my (relatively undemanding) circumstances, they leave me thinking the dynaudio emit 20 speakers should have a minimum of 300WPC RMS.
Both the Cambridge CXA60 and 80 contain 'CAP5' (see link) is this 'a limiter built in'?
What's prompted my query (apart from a budget way below 300W amplifiers) is listening to the CXA60 connected to the emit 20 speakers (jazz, blues, orchestral and pop) they sound great! Exactly what I was hoping for.
But concerned about the supposed power mismatch, I asked the dealer if it was really necessary have more than 60WPC for 150 watt speakers, given that I'm not going to need high volume and there are the 'CAP5' safeguards. He thought, without high volume, either the A60 or A80 would be okay. With this added information, what do you think?
And, because the A60 / emit 20s combination is what I'd really like if at all possible, If I absolutely do need more input, would it be okay to use my Cambridge CXA60 as a pre-amp connected to a fairly inexpensive power amp?
Looking forward to your advice,
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Dave,

Thank you for your reply. I do agree that if you are not listening at high volumes the power mismatch would be ok. There is no harm in having a smaller amp it just means you can never get the maximum out of the speakers. If they sound good together I would go with that. I assume you heard the setup in the shop, things I would consider would be the size of the shop vs size of your room and maybe acoustics of your room where will you sit, where will the speakers go etc. It is always hard to imagine what it will sound like in your room. If you have a really large room and you will sit at the opposite end to the amp & speakers with lots of furniture in the way, that may adjust the way it sounds and maybe you may need a bigger amp to cover the losses of sound in your room. The speakers are likely to out live the amp, so maybe in years to come when the amp is due an upgrade you could get a bigger amp then if needed.

I would not recommend the cxa60 as a preamp because if you had a low cost amp driving the speakers i would not expect it to sound to good, because the electronics in the low cost amo would not be as good as in the cambridge and its tone control would not be as good. Also protection for the speaker is unlikely to be as good, the CAP5 seems to have all protection covered so the speakers should never get damaged.

The cap5 has a clipper so if the audio wave is too high it will clip the top/bottom off the wave a limiter works a little different.

Here is a small article on the two.

Hope this helps


Hi Dave,

Do you need any more help?

carlday1 and other Electronics Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, that's OK, Carl. Your information was clear and useful. It's helped me to reach a decision. Thank you.
All the best,